Rating:
9.0
Death - Symbolic
21 March 1995


01. Symbolic
02. Zero Tolerance
03. Empty Words
04. Sacred Serenity
05. 1,000 Eyes
06. Without Judgement
07. Crystal Mountain
08. Misanthrope
09. Perennial Quest
10. Symbolic Acts [instrumental demo version]
11. Zero Tolerance [instrumental version]
12. Crystal Mountain [instrumental version]
13. Misanthrope [instrumental version]
14. Symbolic Acts [demo]


So, after probably the worst album in Death's career, they have taken enough time off (two years) before releasing this one. And it is a very rapid change from the previous one, leaving many of the fans really puzzled.

Chuck has once more changed his vocals to more screaming and thus getting them to what they will sound three years later at a steady and slow pace. His singing isn't very convincing and could be easily be labeled as rather ordinary thrash singing, because of his voice lacking the personal touch of the man performing them.

Not only vocals but music has had a change. This is probably the lightest of all Death albums with some acoustic guitar interludes, slower song tempo and loads of solos, of course, the trademark of Chuck Schuldiner. There could be heard the typical Death bass from time to time on some songs, as well.

In fact there is not much to say, this is another Death album, played in their style with the only change in sound being heaviness. It is not bad, on the contrary it is a great continue of "Human", it is just that I don't fell like writing "Empty Words". Because this album is a good introduction to the follow-up, which is Death's climax in career. This one, however, fades before "The Sound Of The Perseverance" and I can't help not mentioning it, despite not being the right place for it.


Band profile: Death
Album: Symbolic


 


written by Yanko | 15.09.2003


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
K†ulu

Rating:
9.7
1995 was very generous to the metal world with its great releases. One of them was Death's 6th studio album called Symbolic, a true masterpiece and a classic without a doubt. Everything about this music piece impresses to the very marrow of the bones: the riffs, the leads, the bass, the drums, the lyrics and the vocals. The album is even more versatile and progressive than the previous two, with most songs running for over 5 minutes.

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published 26.06.2008 | Comments (22)



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Doc Godin - 12.04.2007 at 06:04  
Wow, by the way your review goes it seems the rating should be somewhere around a 7, which is what I wouldve rated it, this stays at the top of my list as the worlds most overrated band & album.
Sunioj - 12.04.2007 at 20:18  
This is actually one of my favorite death albums if not my favorite. Every song off that album stands out for me on this one.
Dangerboner - 13.04.2007 at 02:43  
Chuck has some of the most annoying vocals I've ever heard, especially on this album. I'm just glad the music is good.

I agree with the rating, but I was annoyed when Yanko said "after probably the worst album in Death's career..." because Individual Thought Patterns is one of my favorite Death albums.
Sonic Titan - 18.07.2007 at 03:17  
this album is so mellow i like listening to this when im going to sleep i mean its still awsome but its just so chill
Infurnace - 18.07.2007 at 18:20  
One of my favorite Death Metal albums as well. It might not be as Death Metal as "Scream Bloody Gore", but it still has a lot of Death Metal influences, with a progressive touch to it. I really enjoy this album.
Stalker - 18.10.2007 at 22:44  
Wow.... It seems that reviewer's view on music goues like this:
Scream Bloody Gore - Death Metal, All other music in the world - Thrash Metal.
WHAT THE FUCK? Did someone proofread those reviews at all...?
Doc Godin - 19.10.2007 at 07:18  
Written by Stalker on 18.10.2007 at 22:44

Wow.... It seems that reviewer's view on music goues like this:
Scream Bloody Gore - Death Metal, All other music in the world - Thrash Metal.
WHAT THE FUCK? Did someone proofread those reviews at all...?

Look at the date it was published, early reviews were pretty bad alot of the times, take a look at this dreadful Hatebreeder review if you want a further idea of what I mean (the one by Moontroll):
http://www.metalstorm.ee/bands/album.php?album_id=480&band_id=72&bandname=Children+Of+Bodom
Stalker - 19.10.2007 at 11:57  
Written by Doc Godin on 19.10.2007 at 07:18

Written by Stalker on 18.10.2007 at 22:44

Wow.... It seems that reviewer's view on music goues like this:
Scream Bloody Gore - Death Metal, All other music in the world - Thrash Metal.
WHAT THE FUCK? Did someone proofread those reviews at all...?

Look at the date it was published, early reviews were pretty bad alot of the times, take a look at this dreadful Hatebreeder review if you want a further idea of what I mean (the one by Moontroll):
http://www.metalstorm.ee/bands/album.php?album_id=480&band_id=72&bandname=Children+Of+Bodom

Yeah man, I see now what you mean. I wander why would someone with such scarce knowledge in music want to write a review....
BurbotsRevenge - 04.11.2007 at 08:30  
really awesome album, filled with great songs like crystal mountaina, misnathrope, empty words and zero tolerance
trapedINaCORNER - 13.01.2008 at 14:55  
Althought Death produced a change at playing more melodic metal they did that with an amazing way this is a very good album not as paranoid and schizoid as the first 5 but it's a masterpiece too. Chuck may was a bit remote but he was a great mind and wont be forgotten by no one.
Introspekrieg - 08.04.2008 at 22:55  
They are re-releasing this album with demo tracks and instrumental versions, it should be awesome to hear Crystal Mountain as an instrumental! Every song on this album is amazing, truly a work of genius.... 10/10.
BloodTears - 11.04.2008 at 18:56  
Oh, I havent commented on this. Well, Symbolic is one of my favourite Death albums, along with the sound of perseverance. "Symbolic", "crystal mountain", "empty words" and "zero tolerance" being my favourite songs. Also, the most fun song to play on the guitar from this album is "crystal mountain" Symbolic is to hard to keep up with ahah

Well, Its a brilliant album, Death certainly were inspired, or should I say Chuck was inspired? He was the main songwriter anyway.

I have nothing against the vocals on this one.
ponderer - 05.11.2009 at 23:38  
Absolutely horrific review considering this is probably the most epic Death cd ever released. I guess it's #2 and #3 of all time on Metalstorm because as our reviewer said this is a ho hum mediocre offering from a band with nothing left to offer a scene they created. I wish people had to be screened for being mentally defective before posting reviews.

THIS REVIEW SUCKS BALLS
Goran Veljanoski - 05.10.2010 at 02:47  
First of all your review is not consistent with your rating, you should change one... On the other hand you can not write such a review, you don't say nothing about lyrics, production, you haven't written nothing about any of the songs and you compare it to another album in a very simple and not very well explained manner.
Guib - 05.10.2010 at 18:03  
Written by Doc Godin on 12.04.2007 at 06:04

Wow, by the way your review goes it seems the rating should be somewhere around a 7, which is what I wouldve rated it, this stays at the top of my list as the worlds most overrated band & album.


Wow overrated man... do you hear yourself, this work of art is incredibly good
And this album is far from being overrated
You're probably one of those who believe that people prefer death now because chuck is dead and that is totally stupid
First time I heard death's Symbolic I didn't even knew who was chuck -_- And I found it pretty fucking amazing
vezzy - 05.10.2010 at 18:11  
I share the same opinion with Doc. Definitely overrated. Everything up to Individual Thought Patterns is what I mostly listen to from Death.
Guib - 05.10.2010 at 18:38  
Written by vezzy on 05.10.2010 at 18:11

I share the same opinion with Doc. Definitely overrated. Everything up to Individual Thought Patterns is what I mostly listen to from Death.


Oh well you may not like the album, but you cannot deny that the sound is great, the riffs killers and overall this is a
masterpiece of the metal scene -_- wheter you like it or not, facts are there
vezzy - 05.10.2010 at 18:54  
Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 18:38
Oh well you may not like the album, but you cannot deny that the sound is great, the riffs killers and overall this is a
masterpiece of the metal scene -_- wheter you like it or not, facts are there


I don't see any facts. Did you misplace them?
Guib - 05.10.2010 at 19:15  
Written by vezzy on 05.10.2010 at 18:54

Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 18:38
Oh well you may not like the album, but you cannot deny that the sound is great, the riffs killers and overall this is a
masterpiece of the metal scene -_- wheter you like it or not, facts are there


I don't see any facts. Did you misplace them?


My friend... You're disputing musical preferences
You're telling me they're overrated explain to me why ?
Because sincerely I don't see anything in their work making them Overrated
The band was clearly skillful and the quality of their music is great on all the albums
You can't just call a band overrated because YOU do not like the style

Especially when talking about symbolic, because theres great riffs going on
Fast paced and clear... with some brilliant solos executed by Chuck
The vocals might not be as incredible (compared to The Sound of Perseverance) for example
But its still agressive and perfectly in tone with the whole album.
Also, the intro on Empty Words is delightful, you feel that somethings coming in your face up until the bash through at 00:39
They create an atmosphere on almost every track. Oh yeah not mentioning the quality of the track Without Judgement who seems to be forgotten by people most of th time, great Drumming going on and the feeling you get when the riff at 1:46 Starts running is mighty.
And how can you not like a song like Crystal Mountain ? The bass and drum works while the guitar gets softer Just before the chorus is
well thought. Overall incredibly strong album

YOU may not like the style, YOU may think its overrated, YOU may not enjoy the album as much as I do
but saying that they're actually overrated without bringin me any example or anything credible to support that
is just trash talk. They were a talented band with great musical Ideas and good technique... nothing less.
vezzy - 05.10.2010 at 19:23  
Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 19:15

My friend... You're disputing musical preferences
You're telling me they're overrated explain to me why ?
Because sincerely I don't see anything in their work making them Overrated
The band was clearly skillful and the quality of their music is great on all the albums
You can't just call a band overrated because YOU do not like the style

Especially when talking about symbolic, because theres great riffs going on
Fast paced and clear... with some brilliant solos executed by Chuck
The vocals might not be as incredible (compared to The Sound of Perseverance) for example
But its still agressive and perfectly in tone with the whole album.
Also, the intro on Empty Words is delightful, you feel that somethings coming in your face up until the bash through at 00:39
They create an atmosphere on almost every track. Oh yeah not mentioning the quality of the track Without Judgement who seems to be forgotten by people most of th time, great Drumming going on and the feeling you get when the riff at 1:46 Starts running is mighty.
And how can you not like a song like Crystal Mountain ? The bass and drum works while the guitar gets softer Just before the chorus is
well thought. Overall incredibly strong album

YOU may not like the style, YOU may think its overrated, YOU may not enjoy the album as much as I do
but saying that they're actually overrated without bringin me any example or anything credible to support that
is just trash talk. They were a talented band with great musical Ideas and good technique... nothing less.


OH YUCK, NOT CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN.

I never understood the hype about that song, always seemed ordinary to me. Okay sure, you have that solo and those harmonies, but they never seemed really amazing to me.

Many of the riffs on Symbolic seem kind of basic to me and the tone flat, there is definitely a touch of complexity and skill which comes up, but overall, it isn't that great. Not as good as the rawness of Scream Bloody Gore and Leprosy or the well-executed combination of melody and aggression - Individual Thought Patterns.
Guib - 05.10.2010 at 19:31  
Written by vezzy on 05.10.2010 at 19:23

Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 19:15

My friend... You're disputing musical preferences
You're telling me they're overrated explain to me why ?
Because sincerely I don't see anything in their work making them Overrated
The band was clearly skillful and the quality of their music is great on all the albums
You can't just call a band overrated because YOU do not like the style

Especially when talking about symbolic, because theres great riffs going on
Fast paced and clear... with some brilliant solos executed by Chuck
The vocals might not be as incredible (compared to The Sound of Perseverance) for example
But its still agressive and perfectly in tone with the whole album.
Also, the intro on Empty Words is delightful, you feel that somethings coming in your face up until the bash through at 00:39
They create an atmosphere on almost every track. Oh yeah not mentioning the quality of the track Without Judgement who seems to be forgotten by people most of th time, great Drumming going on and the feeling you get when the riff at 1:46 Starts running is mighty.
And how can you not like a song like Crystal Mountain ? The bass and drum works while the guitar gets softer Just before the chorus is
well thought. Overall incredibly strong album

YOU may not like the style, YOU may think its overrated, YOU may not enjoy the album as much as I do
but saying that they're actually overrated without bringin me any example or anything credible to support that
is just trash talk. They were a talented band with great musical Ideas and good technique... nothing less.


OH YUCK, NOT CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN.

I never understood the hype about that song, always seemed ordinary to me. Okay sure, you have that solo and those harmonies, but they never seemed really amazing to me.

Many of the riffs on Symbolic seem kind of basic to me and the tone flat, there is definitely a touch of complexity and skill which comes up, but overall, it isn't that great. Not as good as the rawness of Scream Bloody Gore and Leprosy or the well-executed combination of melody and aggression - Individual Thought Patterns.


I hope you do realize that theres not only the work of the guitar in an album... Sorry to say it again, but the bass and drum works are great
If you'd just listen to the album properly and remove from your mind that (Oh its so overrated and not that fucking crazy complicated that my ears are still intact after listening to it) Might help you understand their efforts. Basic riffs doesnt mean out of quality. It might not be as complicated compared to bands like lets say Cryptopsy, Necrophagist or other technical prodigy but the arrangements with the other instruments makes it more than enjoyable ... I still don't get your point, not liking a song because it is softer and totally putting aside the bass and drum collaboration ?! Seems to me you're simply close minded when talking about Death's later albums

EDIT: (The Tone Flat) Please state an example cause from what I've heard after listening to the album over 100 times it is far from flat Pretty imaginative actually and colorful (Even fitting some awesome light accoustic sound at the end of Crystal Mountain)
vezzy - 05.10.2010 at 19:53  
Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 19:31
I hope you do realize that theres not only the work of the guitar in an album... Sorry to say it again, but the bass and drum works are great
If you'd just listen to the album properly and remove from your mind that (Oh its so overrated and not that fucking crazy complicated that my ears are still intact after listening to it) Might help you understand their efforts. Basic riffs doesnt mean out of quality. It might not be as complicated compared to bands like lets say Cryptopsy, Necrophagist or other technical prodigy but the arrangements with the other instruments makes it more than enjoyable ... I still don't get your point, not liking a song because it is softer and totally putting aside the bass and drum collaboration ?! Seems to me you're simply close minded when talking about Death's later albums

EDIT: (The Tone Flat) Please state an example cause from what I've heard after listening to the album over 100 times it is far from flat Pretty imaginative actually and colorful (Even fitting some awesome light accoustic sound at the end of Crystal Mountain)


Bass is very good indeed and the drumming as well, yes. But just that can't save the album. I don't listen to Necrophagist a lot, but I like Cryptopsy due to both the brutality and technicality. Symbolic feels fairly ordinary to me, but with good harmonies and solos that pop out at times. Clear mind or not, I have yet to truly like this album.

I like the rawness and progressions of Human better, but that's only me.
Guib - 05.10.2010 at 19:57  
Written by vezzy on 05.10.2010 at 19:53

Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 19:31
I hope you do realize that theres not only the work of the guitar in an album... Sorry to say it again, but the bass and drum works are great
If you'd just listen to the album properly and remove from your mind that (Oh its so overrated and not that fucking crazy complicated that my ears are still intact after listening to it) Might help you understand their efforts. Basic riffs doesnt mean out of quality. It might not be as complicated compared to bands like lets say Cryptopsy, Necrophagist or other technical prodigy but the arrangements with the other instruments makes it more than enjoyable ... I still don't get your point, not liking a song because it is softer and totally putting aside the bass and drum collaboration ?! Seems to me you're simply close minded when talking about Death's later albums

EDIT: (The Tone Flat) Please state an example cause from what I've heard after listening to the album over 100 times it is far from flat Pretty imaginative actually and colorful (Even fitting some awesome light accoustic sound at the end of Crystal Mountain)


Bass is very good indeed and the drumming as well, yes. But just that can't save the album. I don't listen to Necrophagist a lot, but I like Cryptopsy due to both the brutality and technicality. Symbolic feels fairly ordinary to me, but with good harmonies and solos that pop out at times. Clear mind or not, I have yet to truly like this album.

I like the rawness and progressions of Human better, but that's only me.


You see I prefer that kind of answer... way more objective and you're actually telling me that its a personal matter
I understand that some people might not like this album since we can't love everything made in the metal world
But personally I don't see the PoP in symbolic... being a fan of technical metal and prog I understood a long time ago
that None of these bands can be *POP*. They're softer than on Human and Individual Thought Patterns I give you that
but not pop no...

EDIT: Besides Im a big fan of Human myself great album.
vezzy - 05.10.2010 at 20:04  
Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 19:57
You see I prefer that kind of answer... way more objective and you're actually telling me that its a personal matter
I understand that some people might not like this album since we can't love everything made in the metal world
But personally I don't see the PoP in symbolic... being a fan of technical metal and prog I understood a long time ago
that None of these bands can be *POP*. They're softer than on Human and Individual Thought Patterns I give you that
but not pop no...

EDIT: Besides Im a big fan of Human myself great album.


When did I imply that it's pop?
Guib - 05.10.2010 at 20:06  
Written by vezzy on 05.10.2010 at 20:04

Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 19:57
You see I prefer that kind of answer... way more objective and you're actually telling me that its a personal matter
I understand that some people might not like this album since we can't love everything made in the metal world
But personally I don't see the PoP in symbolic... being a fan of technical metal and prog I understood a long time ago
that None of these bands can be *POP*. They're softer than on Human and Individual Thought Patterns I give you that
but not pop no...

EDIT: Besides Im a big fan of Human myself great album.


When did I imply that it's pop?


Sorry totally missread that one
My mistake you never implied that
Doc Godin - 05.10.2010 at 23:21  
Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 18:03

Written by Doc Godin on 12.04.2007 at 06:04

Wow, by the way your review goes it seems the rating should be somewhere around a 7, which is what I wouldve rated it, this stays at the top of my list as the worlds most overrated band & album.


Wow overrated man... do you hear yourself, this work of art is incredibly good
And this album is far from being overrated
You're probably one of those who believe that people prefer death now because chuck is dead and that is totally stupid

Nowhere in my post did I say anything about Chuck Schuldiner. I just don't think the album is that good, simple as that. You seem to be over thinking things here.

Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 19:31

Seems to me you're simply close minded when talking about Death's later albums

I smell a fanboy. Argument now rendered absolutely pointless.
Guib - 06.10.2010 at 22:06  
Written by Doc Godin on 05.10.2010 at 23:21

Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 18:03

Written by Doc Godin on 12.04.2007 at 06:04

Wow, by the way your review goes it seems the rating should be somewhere around a 7, which is what I wouldve rated it, this stays at the top of my list as the worlds most overrated band & album.


Wow overrated man... do you hear yourself, this work of art is incredibly good
And this album is far from being overrated
You're probably one of those who believe that people prefer death now because chuck is dead and that is totally stupid

Nowhere in my post did I say anything about Chuck Schuldiner. I just don't think the album is that good, simple as that. You seem to be over thinking things here.

Written by Guib on 05.10.2010 at 19:31

Seems to me you're simply close minded when talking about Death's later albums

I smell a fanboy. Argument now rendered absolutely pointless.


If you think Im that pointless just read the arguments I gave to Vezzy Im not gonna repeat myself again -_-
Besides I'm obviously a fan, else we wouldn't be arguing would we ?
Doc Godin - 06.10.2010 at 23:21  
Written by Guib on 06.10.2010 at 22:06

If you think Im that pointless just read the arguments I gave to Vezzy Im not gonna repeat myself again -_-
Besides I'm obviously a fan, else we wouldn't be arguing would we ?

I said fanboy. It's someone who believes their favourite band(s) can do no wrong. You calling Vezzy closed minded because he didn't like a certain album. It's a pretty irrational mindset and there's really no point in arguing against it.
Guib - 07.10.2010 at 18:00  
Written by Doc Godin on 06.10.2010 at 23:21

Written by Guib on 06.10.2010 at 22:06

If you think Im that pointless just read the arguments I gave to Vezzy Im not gonna repeat myself again -_-
Besides I'm obviously a fan, else we wouldn't be arguing would we ?

I said fanboy. It's someone who believes their favourite band(s) can do no wrong. You calling Vezzy closed minded because he didn't like a certain album. It's a pretty irrational mindset and there's really no point in arguing against it.


First... it is not my favorite band, second I call him close minded because he does like Death but just because the band softened
he believes the album is not as good and shows no skills in comparison.
vezzy - 07.10.2010 at 18:02  
Just because the band softened?
Did I say that in another topic?

Notice that I said I liked the combo of MELODY and aggression in ITP.
Guib - 07.10.2010 at 18:15  
Written by vezzy on 07.10.2010 at 18:02

Just because the band softened?
Did I say that in another topic?

Notice that I said I liked the combo of MELODY and aggression in ITP.


So because theres less Agression and more melody... don't you think they softened lol ??
Cause really thats what it kinda means
vezzy - 07.10.2010 at 18:36  
Written by Guib on 07.10.2010 at 18:15

Written by vezzy on 07.10.2010 at 18:02

Just because the band softened?
Did I say that in another topic?

Notice that I said I liked the combo of MELODY and aggression in ITP.


So because theres less Agression and more melody... don't you think they softened lol ??
Cause really thats what it kinda means


Notice the flat tone and basic riffs.
Guib - 07.10.2010 at 20:09  
Written by vezzy on 07.10.2010 at 18:36

Written by Guib on 07.10.2010 at 18:15

Written by vezzy on 07.10.2010 at 18:02

Just because the band softened?
Did I say that in another topic?

Notice that I said I liked the combo of MELODY and aggression in ITP.


So because theres less Agression and more melody... don't you think they softened lol ??
Cause really thats what it kinda means


Notice the flat tone and basic riffs.


Well to me it doesn't seem like anything ''Basic'' ... Maybe not finger-ripping hard to play
but still

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